In July 2022, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope observed El Gordo, a galaxy cluster that existed 6.2 billion years after the big bang. It was selected as the most massive galaxy cluster known at that time in cosmic history. The resulting image reveals a variety of gravitationally lensed galaxies, including striking objects nicknamed the Fishhook and the Thin One. Come with us on a video tour of this new infrared image from Webb. Transcript of Video.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA. SCIENCE: Jose M. Diego (IFCA), Brenda Frye (University of Arizona), Patrick Kamieneski (ASU), Tim Carleton (ASU), Rogier Windhorst (ASU). IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI), Jake Summers (ASU), Jordan C. J. D'Silva (UWA), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Aaron Robotham (UWA), Rogier Windhorst (ASU)
Zoom in to Rho Ophiuchi
Travel to the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex. The journey begins with a ground-based image by astrophotographer Akira Fujii, then transitions into a plate from the Digitized Sky Survey. Next a two-color image from the now-retired infrared NASA Spitzer Space Telescope appears, and then finally the video arrives at the James Webb Space Telescope’s image of the star-forming region.
The star-forming region captured in Webb’s image is small and not particularly active compared to other well-known star-forming regions. It is the region’s proximity to Earth (390 light-years) that allows Webb to capture it in such detail, emphasizing the structure of jets bursting from young solar-mass stars, and a dusty “cave” of glowing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Note: There is no audio.
Credits:NASA, ESA, CSA, Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
Draggable Comparison: Hubble / Webb NIRCam
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Image Comparison Info:
The chaotic merging galaxies II ZW 96 have been examined in two distinct wavelengths in these images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.
The image on the left was taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and gives a view over the visible-light spectrum of this merger, clearly showing the starburst systems that have formed between the two galactic cores with their older stars.
The image on the right, Webb’s image from the Near-InfraRed Camera shines particularly brightly in infrared light. The star-forming regions which have been activated by the galactic tumult are particularly luminous in the infrared, which placed ZW II 96 as one of Webb’s first targets.
Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, L. Armus, A. Evans; the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration